If a muffuletta sandwich can be transformed into a dip, then this Roasted Red Pepper Pimento Cheese Recipe can also be whatever its little heart desires; a sandwich spread or a dip, too!
I’m on a serious roll updating all the tailgating dips I’ve had created and either already featured in my Aimee’s Pretty Palate column, or just waiting for updated photos. My Muffuletta Dip needed updated photos and this Pimento Cheese simply needed to be added here to my website. I’ll also be updating these Pimento Cheese Poppers photos soon, too!
There is something quintessentially southern about a pimento cheese sandwich. Pimento cheese is synonymous with the Masters Golf Tournament but its ease of preparation and ingredients mean you can put pimento cheese on a sandwich, slather it on a cracker, or stuff it in sweet peppers or burgers. There are so many ways to enjoy the cheesy Southern staple, making it perfect (and easy) for weekends full of football watching. It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature making it ideal for transport, too.
Everyone has their own version, but I declare my recipe the best because this recipe skips jarred pimentos for roasted red peppers instead. Just trust me on this one. You’ll never buy store-bought pimento cheese again and the roasted pepper is worth the effort.
What is pimento cheese? It’s most simplest form, it is just that: shredded cheese that has been combined with pimento peppers. The basic recipe is sharp cheddar, mayonnaise and pimentos. Cream cheese is often added for creaminess and spreadability and additional ingredients such a hot sauce, spices, sometimes relish….as desired determined by individuality and personal preference.
What is the difference between pimento and pimiento? You may see it with an extra “i” and wonder what the deal is. Pimientos are sweet cherry peppers. It is originally a Spanish word that over time was shortened to “pimento” and evolved into a red bell pepper. It’s used interchangeably.
Do I have to roast a red pepper to make this? Yes, this recipe calls for roasting a red pepper, but you can certainly buy store-bought and skip yourself a step. I’d pat them dry first, before chopping and adding to the cheese mixture however. With that said, it’s super easy to roast them yourself and well worth the effort.
How do you eat pimento cheese? That’s the best part! While it’s commonly squeezed between sandwich bread and cut into finger-sandwiches, you can also just spread this pimento cheese recipe onto crackers, stuff it into sweet peppers or even into your burgers. Pimento cheese for breakfast? You can add a bit to your omelet, too! Eat it right out of the bowl? I’m not judging.
Can you make pimento cheese ahead of time? Yes, in fact, pimento cheese that sits for a bit enhances its flavoring. However, don’t try to freeze pimento cheese spread. The oils in the mayonnaise will separate and leave you with a mess.
What do you do with the leftovers? I seriously doubt you’ll have leftovers after offering this to friends, but any uneaten portions can be stored in an airtight containers and will last for about two weeks.
- 1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeded, membrane removed
- Olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp. Creole seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place pepper halves on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast until skin is blistered, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove peels, chop, and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
Stir together all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Fold in chopped roasted red peppers. Cover and store in refrigerator. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
However you decide to enjoy the recipe known as “southern caviar”, you’ll be happy you did.